Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fairfax Hunt Club ponders exit from Reston, residential redevelopment possible, Washington Business Journal, July 21, 2014

The Fairfax Hunt clubhouse in Reston sits on 8 acres to be redeveloped.
The historic Fairfax Hunt Club is eying an exit from its longtime Reston home.
Robert Hostler, president of Fairfax Hunt Inc., submitted a proposal to the Reston Master Plan special study to rezone the property at 1321 Lake Fairfax Drive for residential, or at least to allow for the possibility of future residential development. The land is currently zoned only for private recreation.
According to the online submission, “The Owner, Fairfax Hunt Inc., is considering relocating its operations and desires to have the option for this property to be converted to residential as are the surrounding properties.”
Hostler could not be reached for comment. . .
The Fairfax Hunt review will be included in the second phase (of the Reston Master Plan revision), as will a proposal to add 40 townhomes and three new low-rise multifamily buildings to the Colvin Woods community (formerly the Carter Lake apartments).
Click here for the rest of this article.

These two proposals were mentioned in DPZ's Friday RMP P2 e-mail update although it provided no details.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reston 2020 Weekend Edition: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Wealth Gap (HBO), YouTube

Looking beyond Reston, John Oliver offers valuable and absolutely  hilarious insights to the issue of income inequality in the United States (14:09).


'Nuff said.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Reminder -- Wiehle Garage open house tomorrow"--A Different Take!

A Restonian (but not THE Restonian) and a regular transit commuter offered up this alternative public service announcement on tomorrow's ribbon cutting ceremony at Metrorail's Wiehle Station for the opening of Phase 1 of the Silver Line.  Read it--and wonder . . . .
Reminder -- Wiehle Garage open house tomorrow.   Ribbon cutting at 10:00, loitering until 3:00.  Come for the SLHS marching band, speeches and self-guided tours.  Preview the commuting experience.  Get information about the Master Plan review, Phase 2 (“There Goes the Neighborhood”).  Maybe review your retirement planning.
 
I suggest parking in the original Reston North outdoor park-and-ride lot (corner of Sunset Hills and Wiehle).  Cross busy Sunset Hills Road and Reston Station Boulevard.  Time the traffic lights and dodge turning cars. Ignore the enormous sidewalk scaffolding, construction crane and workmen overhead if you use Metro Center Drive.  Pretend you are in Bob Simon’s Manhattan.
 
Or park in the new Wiehle Garage.  Visualize yourself racing 3,300 other drivers down the three inbound traffic lanes (two if you're coming south on Wiehle) towards the station, hoping to find a spot before the garages fill on weekday mornings.  (As the Reston Station signs say, don’t get shut out!)  Practice dodging the 30+ Fairfax Connector buses per hour that will serve the underground bus bays during peak periods.
 
If you currently park at the Interim Lot (Sunset and Town Center Parkway), with nearly unlimited free parking (only hassle is the geese), try to envision yourself parking in the new multilevel garage (cost $4.85/day) .  Watch out for those pesky structural columns .  Count the exit lanes/gates, stop lights and difficult left turns as you leave.  Morning arrivals will be staggered, but how long will it take to pay and exit in the evening, even with that awesome Smartcard technology?
 
If you currently transfer from commuter bus to rail at West Falls Church, with covered walkways from bus stops to the platform, compare the Wiehle experience: the exposed plaza and long open-air bridges over the 12-lane highway (no windows, you’re kidding).  Imagine waiting in the Wiehle-Reston East platform wind tunnel during bad weather.  What are the odds you’ll have to stand on the train for 40-minutes? 
 
Finally, look for the commercial spaces, including the food services, promised for station opening last December.  Oh and where did they put the taxi cab line?   Remember, no hitchhiking!
 
Hope you enjoy the open house and new station.  See you on the Silver Line.  To paraphrase WMATA’s slogan, Get on board, you don’t have a choice!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Letter: Discarding good library books irresponsible, Kathy Kaplan, Fairfax Times July 14, 2014

Kathy is Chairman of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations' Library Committee and RCA's 2013 Citizen of the Year because of her excellent efforts to save our libraries.

Last November the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to cancel the Beta Plan for the county library system; however, Library Operations has continued to pursue the Beta Plan. At the Library Board of Trustees meeting July 9, 2014, Michael Cutrone, the Hunter Mill Representative to the Library Board, requested that current procedures for discarding low demand items be changed.
Low demand items are books that have not been checked out for 24 months. Low demand books are now transferred to Technical Operations, and large numbers in very good condition are being discarded. Michael Cutrone asked that until a new policy can be instituted that the discard of low demand books be stopped. The Director of Library Operations stated that it was his decision to make and he was opposed to changing current procedures.
Many neighboring library systems keep their books on the shelves for five years before they are considered for weeding. Even then, I am told by librarians in other library systems, they are very reluctant to let go of nonfiction works. Nonfiction is the heart of any library’s collection. Our children need nonfiction for their school papers. Information from the internet is often incorrect and incomplete.
We have lost thousands of nonfiction books in good condition since February 2014. specially vulnerable are large art books which are often only used in the library and not checked out because of their size and weight. Since the Library Board is reluctant to direct operational procedures is there anything library patrons can do to protect the collection and culturally significant books?
Yes, there is. Patrons can check out books. Once books are checked out, they are protected for two years. Two years from now we will have a new Library Director and hopefully the new one will value the library as a place of learning and literacy. You can check out 50 books. Check out art, poetry, philosophy, science, history, biography, ethnic cookbooks. And don’t forget the children’s nonfiction. It’s the only way we have now to protect our collection. Think of it as a civic and patriotic duty.
Help save our books.
Kathy Kaplan, Reston
So please help save our library books.  Check out some books--up to 50 at a time--and suspend their death sentence for at least another two years.   

Update:  Kathy's letter is also posted in this week's Reston Connection (still only available in PDF format), including photos of some little-used books that could be culled from the library's collection.  Here they are: